Dryads & Shades

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Excerpts from two beautiful ballets filled the stage last week as dryads instantly transformed into a kingdom of shades.

Right after floating through the dream scene of Don Quixote, I only had a few seconds to recover before jumping into the first shade variation of La Bayadere. I had performed it before, but I forgot how physically demanding it was especially in addition to the corps de ballet work. It is one of the fastest variations that I have ever done, so maintaining precise execution of each step, despite the fatigue, is an incredibly challenging endeavor. However, the encouraging cheers from the audience gave me so much energy, and I finished stronger than I ever had in rehearsal. When I hit my final pose, I couldn’t hold back the giant smile that radiated from my face… It was a great show!

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“there’s a universe

swirling inside you.

 

you have to learn to be

your own earth,

wind, fire

and water.

 

you are a natural

phenomenon-

not a natural disaster.”

~Unknown

*Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis

College: Freshman Year

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College Year 1: OFFICIALLY DONE!

(Casually doing an Arabesque at school…)

I cannot believe that my freshman year of college is actually complete, and I am about one year away from attaining my associates degree in Marketing Management. I have learned so much in the last two semesters, and I am just so thankful for this opportunity to attend this awesome school as a dual-enrolled student. It was certainly a challenge to manage a full college schedule on top of my other responsibilities, and I have no doubt that I pushed myself harder than ever before… I recall doing assignments at 2 AM while Nirvana and Pearl Jam blared out of my headphones, studying vigorously in between rehearsals, hauling a load of math problems to the tutoring center before exams, reading textbook pages for hours in the library, and reviewing papers with friends before submitting them to my professor. It was hard, but this experience really allowed me to grow as both a person and student which is really rewarding in the end. It was a great year, and I am so lucky to have had such awesome people to share it with.

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I have a few weeks on break before the summer semester kicks off, but I am going to embrace this sunshine and blue sky while it lasts… Summer vibes are in the air; it’s a beautiful day!

Has your summer break started yet? What was your freshman experience like? Who else is a Marketing major? Do you enjoy bubble tea? 

Behind the Curtain

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13 hours in the theater. 6 quick changes. 3 performances. 2 dress rehearsals. All in 1 busy day.


I glanced at the bruises forming on my feet, and my body was overcome with a state of pure exhaustion. It was my eleventh hour in the theater, and I stood behind the curtain listening to the constant murmur of the crowd as they made their way to their seats. The final show of “The Little Mermaid” was about to begin, and I was minutes away from tackling another ballet with the very little energy that I had left. It is expected that every performance has the same quality, and the audience deserves the same experience every show because tickets all cost the same. This is where it gets challenging and stressful for us, dancers. At the end of the day, fatigue and aching muscles must be concealed by bubbly smiles and seemingly effortless movements which is extremely difficult. I don’t think the audience ever truly realizes what actually goes on backstage, and the beauty of this art form can be very deceiving by the graceful image that we portray.

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All in all, it was great to be back in the theater, but I think ballet officially kicked my butt.

What did you do this weekend? Have you had any performances recently? Are you ready for summer?

Guilty Confessions

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It’s guilty confessions time! Many of you have been waiting on this post since you voted in January’s blog post poll, so I am super excited to finally release it. This is where I confess four shameful things that I am guilty for and hope that you don’t judge me too harshly… Here we go!

1: I have typed wrong my entire life.

I actually didn’t even realize this until about two months ago when my mom pointed it out. My left hand was typing fine, but my right index finger was literally stretching to hit every letter on the other side of the keyboard. I am currently trying to break this habit after years of incorrect typing, and it is definitely not an easy task.

2: I have a childish fear of needles.

This is painful to admit, but I am absolutely terrified of needles. Even sitting in a doctor’s office makes my body tremble, and I have cried several tears (even as a teenager) because of this childish fear.

3: I am a really bad nail biter.

I have been guilty of this for years, but it is actually much better than it use to be! Honestly, I use to bite my nails until they would bleed, so I am definitely making progress.

4: I gave my friend her birthday gift three months late.

Yes, this actually happened. I got the gift on time, but I kept leaving it at my house whenever we would see each other. I felt so bad, but I finally got the gift to her three months late.

What are you are guilty for? Can you relate to any of these things?

Photo credits: Thank you, Grandma Gayle, for capturing this awesome in-between moment when I was least expecting it.

Taking Flight

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During a live performance, nothing is promised, and the audience experiences something new each time the curtain rises. They are able to witness the real-time mishaps and slips that cannot be undone or edited out. Each show is simply an unparalleled mystery to both the dancers and audience members because it is never certain what the outcome will be regardless of the repeated choreography. Even though dancers try to maintain a professional image, we are just like the people in the darkened theater clutching tickets in their palms. We make mistakes. We fall. We have off days just like everybody else. No matter how hard we strive for perfection, we will never be flawless, and that is reality.

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Saturday, we took Flight, a guest-choreographed modern piece, downtown with peacock feathers perched delicately in our hair. To be honest, I am quite disappointed with my performance. It was an incredibly stressful night as things continuously went wrong, and I had to endure that defeated feeling as I took a bow. This piece will be performed again later this season, so I am hoping that we can redeem ourselves. As of right now, we must move on because it is going to be a busy week in the studio as we prepare for Alice in Wonderland in three weeks! I will not waste any more time thinking about the past. We have a ballet to learn. 🙂

Audition Season

Audition season officially began for me today as I attended my very first audition of the year. As numbers are pinned onto leotards and judges sort through application papers, it is quite nerve wracking. At my age, directors are looking beyond summer intensive acceptance, and they are taking company positions into consideration…

You only have one class to show the judges what you can do. That one class might be worth major scholarship money to pay for an entire summer of training, and it can give you a reputation for a potential job! As stressful as it can be, it is so neat to take master classes from different ballet directors, and I love experiencing their unique teaching style. I am so grateful that they take so much time to tour around the country to host these auditions. In the end, I try not to worry about the results or my future as a dancer because I know that God has a plan for me. If this is what I am meant to do, I will be at the right company at the right time… It will all work out how it is suppose to. Good luck to all of my readers who are auditioning this season!

“The person who worries reveals his lack of trust in God and that he is trusting too much in self.”

~Lee Roberson

Photo Credits: The wonderful, Ms. Carol. Thank you so much for these!